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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Faculty-driven Instructional Technology ESFIT

This project is made possible, in part, by a State of New York/UUP Technology campus grant

The purposes of this project are to encourage the creative use and understanding of instructional technology, and to support collaborative faculty development through focused faculty-driven instructional technology initiatives.

Our related professional development aim are to provide faculty with information, examples and opportunity for conversation with each other and with invited resource people so that they may develop a focused instructional technology project that addresses course-related instructional technology needs and contributes to your professional/instructional technology development.

Program Elements included:

  1. Guiding principles for videoconferencing
  2. Demonstration/participation in an SUNY ESF/SUNY UMU videoconference meeting. This segment will demonstrate ESF s multi-media/videoconferencing classrooms for synchronous teaching/learning events (e.g., exchange of guest lectures with colleagues at various off-campus locations)
  3. Docushare case study. We will show you how we have employed DocuShare (a Web-based password-protected file storage application) in a selected pilot project
  4. Selected examples of Web-based resources
  5. Brief demonstration and reflection on the use of a course management system for distance learning and as an adjunct resource in a traditional course.
  6. Video and multimedia production: Selected examples and considerations
  7. Collaborative project planning

Faculty Participants: Richard Beal; Scott Shannon; Elen Deming; Patrick J. Lawler; Benette Whitmore; Robert Malmsheimer; Douglas Daley; Lawrence Smart; Ken Tiss; Robert Meyer; D. Keller; Theodore Dibble

Instructional Technology Consultants: Christopher Baycura (ESF), Richard Beal (ESF), Ross Jacobs (ESF), Deborah Storrings (ESF)

Facilitators: Christopher Baycura (ESF), Richard Beal (ESF), Gerald Edmonds (SU), Ross Jacobs (ESF), Joe Smith (SUNY UMU), Chuck Spuches  Project Director (ESF), Deborah Storrings (ESF), David Tiedemann (SU)

Faculty Projects

Web-based support for Landscape Architecture Design Studio III

Scott Shannon
Department of Landscape Architecture
Instructional Technology Consultants: C. Baycura and D. Storrings

The Masters Landscape Architecture Design Studio III (LSA 620) is a studio course that introduces community scale design, and provides significant opportunities for working with a variety of resources and individuals outside the traditional confines of classroom and design studio. For this course, I intend to build a companion web-site, providing a range of services and information augmenting traditional course readings, hand-outs, and project-based learning materials. I intend each of the Fall 2002 semester s student projects to focus on design issues in, or adjacent to the Village of Cazenovia, NY. In particular, I hope to support this focus with a  threaded discussion board as a part of the course web-site, to facilitate a dialog and communication between village leaders, community groups, residents, and the students in LSA 620.

Incorporating DocuShare into Construction Safety

Kenneth J. Tiss, AIC, CPC
Constructional Management/Wood Products Engineering
Instructional Technology Consultant: D. Storrings

My project is to incorporate DocuShare into the Constructional Management/Wood Products Engineering course, Construction Safety (WPE 331). The purpose of this initiative is to:

  • Distribute course Power Points presentations, class notes, and course assignments
  • Conduct ? threaded discussions?
  • Facilitate the distribution, development and management of the course final project which is a collaborative effort of 3 to 5 students
  • Post daily instructor summaries of the individual classes for use by the students.

I have been using a list serve to accomplish several of these tasks to date and I believe that DocuShare will be a more effective environment. The benefit/value to my students will include:

  • The ease of accessibility-with the list serve I often have trouble getting information to the students due to such things as overloaded mailboxes and the inability to open file attachments.
  • The ability to collaborate on their projects without having to have face to face meetings. This is important since a fair percentage of our students commute.
  • The ability to collaborate on their projects will also be enhanced since I have a growing number of students from other academic departments on both the ESF and SU campuses taking this course. There are often scheduling problems due to the various required course offerings and DocuShare will help overcome this problem.
  • The exposure to this environment since many businesses are now incorporating this type of environment into their business model.
  • The ease at which information can be disseminated and retrieved-the students themselves will have the ability to add to the course content via the DocuShare environment.

Writing Resource Center Video

Benette Whitmore and Patrick J. Lawler
Environmental Studies / Writing Resource Center
Instructional Technology Consultant: C. Baycura

The purpose of my project is to produce a five to seven-minute informative video which provides an overview of ESF s Writing Resource Center (WRC). My audiences for this video are (1) ESF students (as a way to inform them about ways in which they could use the WRC) , (2) ESF professors(as a way to inform them about the ways in which their students could use the WRC; perhaps they could show the video in class) , and (3) Writing consultants (as part of their introduction to tutoring at the WRC)

The specific goals are to

1. Show the range of WRC services

  • Tutoring writing
  • Offering ESL conversation group
  • Supporting students with disabilities

2. Explain our staffing

  • Volunteer tutors
  • Graduate assistants
  • Pat and Benette

3. Explain how we work with students

  • Help students become better editors of their own work
  • Not an editing service
  • Work with students of all levels (from first-year to graduate students)
  • Work with students at all stages (from brainstorming to final editing)
  • Work with students on all kinds of writing project from lab reports to essays to graduate theses
  • Work with students on job application materials (resumes, cover letters)
  • Provide resources (books, handouts) on writing and reading
  • Make students feel more comfortable about using the service

Web-based Resources for Teaching Effectiveness in Cultural History

M. Elen Deming
Department of Landscape Architecture
Instructional Technology Consultants: C. Baycura and D. Storrings

During spring semester 2002, students in Cultural History and Theories of Landscape Architecture (EIN 471 and LSA 671) expressed difficulty in recognizing images of key cultural monuments, in memorizing their significant attributes, e.g., authors, clients, iconography, style periods), and in discriminating between contextual issues and key subjects when taking notes. This difficulty has been borne out on the final exam, where student retention of material presented (and successfully tested) earlier in the semester was clearly diminished. I propose to create a course website that is strategically designed to assist students in their comprehension of course content. A web-based resource would allow the following improvements in teaching effectiveness: (a) selected key images and their attributes (taken directly from PowerPoint lectures) could be reviewed at greater length by students preparing for exams; (b) email correspondence between students and the graduate assistant would facilitate custom-direct learning; and (c) general announcements/instruction/reminders would be available to students outside of class.

Development of web pages to accept individual student responses for EFB325 Cell Physiology

Larry Smart
Environmental and Forest Biology

Instructional Technology Consultants: R. Jacobs

Cell Physiology is a fairly large (~135 students) lecture-only course that has traditionally been supported by one-half or one teaching assistant.  Therefore, the instructional format has always been a traditional lecture, with relatively little active or group learning in class.  Short homework assignments are completed by students nearly weekly to encourage timely reading of the textbook chapters, but there is no efficient way to encourage individual students to explore the subjects to make connections and encourage assimilation of material presented in lectures.  One way this may be possible is to encourage individual students to pursue web searches on assigned topics that will relate to basic material presented in class.

In order to evaluate student performance in completing these web searches, this project will develop web pages in which individual students can logon with a password, enter their responses into form-based pages, and submit those to the instructor.  These responses will then be received by the instructors in digital format and can be processed relatively automatically in evaluating student performance.  Students will be asked to search the web and find their favorite or most informative web site addressing that topic.  They will then submit that URL to the instructors, who will upload it to a class web site.  Once all the URLs appear on the class web site, each student must then evaluate those sites and submit a ranking or rating of each site.  These 'web quests' will be attempted approximately 5-6 times through the semester.

Employing Technology to Hazardous Waste Management On and Off Campus

Douglas Daley
Environmental Resources and Forest Engineering
Instructional Technology Consultants: R. Jacobs and D. Storrings

I will teach Hazardous Waste Management (ERE 506) in Fall 2002. I am scheduled to use 16 Illick.

Objective 1: I would like to use Docushare to improve the effectiveness of document distribution (e.g. government documents, PowerPoint notes, "fugitive" handouts) for learning activities and course management. I usually have 2-3 assignments that require team effort. Docushare will be used to simplify document transfer among team members. Also, if I manage to accomplish Objective 2 (see below), Docushare will greatly assist off-campus students.

Objective 2: Develop real-time videoconferencing capabilities for (a) Reaching students in the Mohawk Valley (via the Brownfield Center) and (b) engaging invited guest speakers from consulting firms such as the DEC in Albany and the EPA in Washington, D.C.

Using Docushare for Physical Chemistry Homework and Projects

Theodroe S. Dibble
Instructional Technology Consultant: D. Storrings

Docushare will be used to collect and give feedback on two types of student work in Physical Chemistry II (FCH 361, enrollment 25-35, Spring).One type of work will be spreadsheets, created by students, used to carry out repetitive calculations and graph results. This work will be part of the normal set of (every 2 weeks) homework assignments. The other will be a group project requiring students to analyze a published scientific paper from the peer-reviewed literature. The use of Docushare for the spreadsheets will let the instructor see the actual equations used within the spreadsheet, enable the instructor to give very specific and accurate feedback. The development of individual portfolios will allow students to see their increasing sophistication with spreadsheets. The group project involves multiple steps, and the use of Docushare will allow all members of the group to see their groups evolving work and the instructor s feedback.

Using Docushare to communicate information about Wood Structure and Properties

Robert Meyer
Constructional Management/Wood Products Engineering
Instructional Technology Consultant: D. Storrings

This project will use Docushare to make course materials available to students in Wood Structure and Properties (WPE 387) Fall Semester, and Structure and Properties of Wood (WPE 386) Spring Semester. These courses use a lot of visuals such as slides and overheads. The overheads are taken from the assigned text, other books, or are typed or hand-drawn material. Most of these contain more material than can be copied quickly, so the students spend more time trying to copy than they spend trying to understand the material. Docushare will make it possible to more readily make the materials available to the students. In addition, old exams will also be made available.

Docushare as a Tool to Enhance Teaching and Learning in a Large Enrollment First Year Course

Richard Beal
Educational Outreach
Instructional Technology Consultant: D. Storrings and R. Jacobs

I will be using DOCUSHARE for two main purposes.The first will be to enhance the teaching and learning in The Global Environment (EFB 120). I will use DOCUSHARE to give students quick access to valuable class information and materials. Examples include updated course syllabi and schedules as well as class bulletin boards. Students will also have access to selected hard-to-copy graphs, diagrams, and photos from lecture. In addition, I will create folders where students can obtain useful readings and access websites that will help to improve their understanding of course content. The second purpose of utilizing will be to improve continuity and community interactions between the on-campus Global Environment course and the EFB 120 courses taught off-campus through the ESF in the High School program (http://www.esf.edu/esfhs).

Using Web-based Resources for Assessing Student Learning

Robert Malmsheimer
Instructional Technology Consultant: R. Jacobs

This project will explore the use of Web-based templates for several student assessments. The Web-based approach will increase teaching efficiency and provide prompt feedback to students, one of the elements in the Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education (refer to Implementing the Seven Principles:  Technology as Lever by Arthur W. Chickering and Stephen C. Ehrmann (available on the WWW, Wednesday, August 21, 2002, at http://www.tltgroup.org/programs/seven.html).

Development of Web and CD-Rom based multimedia support for Paper Properties Laboratory

D. Steven Keller
Paper Science and Engineering
Instructional Technology Consultant: R. Jacobs

The Paper Properties (PSE 465/ERE 677) course for seniors and graduate students has an intensive laboratory component. In the 16 laboratory sessions, the students are exposed to the mechanical, optical and surface chemical characteristics of paper and paperboard using more than 20 unique testing instruments. An important aspect of the instructional approach of this laboratory is independent and small group responsibility to explore the operation of instruments in order to obtain reliable results. Thus, the laboratory sessions are not intensely supervised, and students must rely on resources obtained by the group to complete the laboratories.

The proposed project involves the development of multimedia tools, especially short video presentations that will be provided as additional resources for the students to learn more about the proper operation of instruments and execution of paper testing experiments. Modules associated with each of the laboratory sessions will be stand alone, and will incorporate digital video and text/graphic documents as appropriate. The initial objective will be to develop a framework within which the separate modules will be placed. Once established, modules will be created and added to the framework as individual packages. The order of development will be based on the need to support the most difficult laboratory sessions.

The outcomes from this project will be to enhance the students comprehension and understanding of the experiments they perform, and the instruments they use in the process. The multimedia tools will address different learning styles to communicate the proper procedure, and useful approaches to attain appropriate data. Assessment of the contribution of these tools will be made by considering the written reports, and the direct feedback from students. Revision of modules will complete the assessment/improvement cycle.